Mutual Reespect In A Marriage

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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Mutual Respect Marriage                                                 Thomas Shields                                                 Ms. Wojcik                                                 English 12                                                 16, September 2001                                                                                         Shields 1                         Marriage is a sacred union that should be taken seriously by both husband and wife. This must be established with a mutual respect in order for the marriage to achieve a long and happy life. In Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, he demonstrates that mutual respect is the only way a marriage can exist peacefully.

                The Franklin's tale demonstrates why sovereignty in a marriage should be the number one goal to achieve a good marriage. The Franklin states that, "Friends must be considerate of each other if they wish to remain long in companionship" (Chaucer 263). The Franklin shows examples of this in his tale when the wife of the knight explains that she will be a "humble, and true wife"; until her heart shall burst" (Chaucer 267).

She is saying this because the knight is showing respect to her by giving her such free reign. She was not held by mastery.

                                                                                Shields 2 This is the only way a marriage can prosper.

                The Merchant also shows that a sovereign marriage can be good thing. He shows examples of this by stating quotes from other people such as; when Seneca said "There is nothing better than a humble wife. Endure your wife's tongue." he goes on to say, "Let her command and you obey; and still she will courteously make you command the relationship. In the Merchant's tale he shows that mutual respect in marriage does work if both partners are faithful to each other.

                The two other tales in Chaucer's marriage tales, the Wife Of Bath and the Clerics tales only show one person ruling the marriage. The wife's prologue shows that if the women rule then the wife would win. In her story the                                                                                 Shields 3 woman rules and they both end up winning. In the Clerics tale men rule and, ultimately they both win, but not without the wife paying a tragic price firstGeoffrey Chaucer did this on purpose to show that there are problems to a marriage to with one ruler. The wife in the clerics tale would have never paid such a terrible price if the marriage would have been mutual. She would have been free to speak her mind and her husband would have listened to her. Chaucer also makes it a point to show the Wife's tale as a more imaginitive than any other marriage tale. He may possibly be stating that the idea of the wife ruling a marriage as unrealistic almost like a fairy tale.

                In conclusion, after reviewing all of the marriage tales Chaucer clearly demonstrates that the best marriage is a soveriegn marriage.

Works Cited.

Chaucer, Geoffrey. Canterbury Tale New York:         Pocket books, 1971.